‘Famous First Words’ (Geffen )
When four “frighteningly handsome devils,” (their words) started a band called Brother, the world sat up and took notice. At least, that’s how it felt at The Fly, immersed as we are in the pressure-cooker of Britain’s music industry. With Viva Brother leering and pouting in the press, the public (and our Twitter feed) reacted. Most joined the backlash, hurling underhand, Jarvis-copulateswith-Damon hand-grenades of sonic comparison. Little attention was paid to the positives, or to the “idiots” who actually liked the band. Seven months and a name change later, we have a debut album. ‘Famous First Words’ does hint at pastiche (‘New Year’s Day’), it does shamelessly cling to Britpop’s coat-tails (‘David’), indeed parts of it positively stagger out of A&E propped up by a Strongbow-ed-up Patsy Kensit and Brian Harvey’s old crutches. But who cares? When they get it right, Viva Brother are drunkenly, irresistibly enjoyable – ‘Time Machine’ is a shamefully romantic sugar rush; ‘Still Here’ is turbo charged Saturday night dynamite. Some will have great nights out to these songs; others will throw up onto their Animal Collective t-shirts. Just remember, away from the hyperbole (and the abuse), Viva Brother are just a new band who have made a half decent debut album.